The Report notes that, as the government has not been successful in its actions to “criminalize” the central religious practice of Scientology, auditing, the government has initiated a statewide “enlightenment” program to indoctrinate citizens against Scientology. An educational curriculum has been created for use in all schools to “enlighten” students on the dangers of Scientology.101 “Enlightenment” programs and seminars for teachers, school administrators and parents councils warning of the “dangers” of Scientology have been provided by the state. 102 “Enlightenment” brochures prepared by a private group opposed to minority religions, Aktion Bildungs-Information, have been financed by a grant from the state.103 “Enlightenment” programs have been created in cooperation with established Churches and the government has encouraged teachers and parents to obtain brochures criticizing new religious movements and warning against Scientology from the Lutheran State Church. 104
It is widely recognized that the right of religious minorities to establish denominational schools is a corollary of everyone’s right to freely manifest one’s own religion. This right is especially important for Scientology families as the curriculum in public schools specifically condemns and denigrates the Scientology religion. Yet, rather than recognize the right of Scientologists to form their own denominational schools, the Report approvingly notes that the government has rejected the right of Scientology children to attend a denominational school.105
Apparently provoked by the judiciary’s recognition of Scientology’s religious bona fides in a host of decisions around the world, including over 30 decisions in Germany, and the fact that extensive investigations by state prosecutors of the Church in Germany have revealed no evidence of criminal activity, the Ministry of Justice recommended further “enlightenment” seminars for judges and state attorneys on the dangers of Scientology. The German Academy of Judges, an educational organization funded by the Federal Republic and the states, has initiated “educational training” on “sects” which judges and state attorneys in Baden-Württemberg have participated in.106
In order to provide a veneer of justification for its conduct, the Working Group engaged in “intensive discussions” with a research institution of a Baden-Württemberg University and commissioned the institution with funds provided by the Ministry of Science and Research to produce a “study” regarding the “danger of Scientology”. Leaving aside the obvious issue raised by a state sponsored “scientific study” of a religion, the Report notes that this “study” will be “supervised” by the Working Group, which of course makes its result a foregone conclusion.107
A similar “Working Group Scientology” which exists in the Hamburg Ministry of Interior has engaged in similar activities to outlaw Scientology and to identify and target its parishioners for adverse action. These Working Groups have coordinated their actions and exchanged information in order to further the government’s goal to ban Scientology.108
In October of 1995, Baden-Württemberg established a “Sect Advisory Council” in the Ministry of Culture to intensify the “enlightenment” campaign and to ensure a “continuing exchange of information” between private organizations and “state, church and regional offices.”109
The Baden-Württemberg government’s “enlightenment” program serves the purpose of stigmatizing Scientology and other new religions by branding their beliefs as “heresy” and calling for their prohibition. Such a purpose violates fundamental universal principles of religious tolerance and neutrality.
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